Saturday, March 14, 2009

Even the prettiest garden must fade....

In Georg Friedrich Händel's Alcina, Ruggiero (Roger) the crusading knight had been held captive by the love enchantment of the sorceress Alcina on her magical island until his fiancee, Bradamante, and her magical adviser, Melisso, arrived to knock some sense of reality back into him. As Ruggiero slowly regains his true perspectives, the true horror of Alcina's island becomes perceptible to him (what he used to see as a green enchanted garden is, in reality, a barren place full terrible remains of Alcina's past lovers).

"Verdi prati, selve amene....... Green meadows, calming woods,
perderete la belta............... your beauty is fading.
Vaghi fior, correnti rivi......... Blooming flowers, rippling brooks,
la vaghezza, la bellezza....... your charms and beauty
presto in voi si cangera....... will soon be transformed.

E cangiato il vago ogetto...... and when the enchanted vision
all' orror del primo aspetto...... has returned to original horror,
tutto in voi ritornera.............. I'll have regained myself."
The photos in the clip are, alas, not from Alcina's garden (nor from the Villa d'este, the water garden that inspired Ariosto to write the epic poem, Orlando Furioso, from which the story of Ruggiero and Alcina branched out of, for that matter). They are from the various places on the Embarcadero in downtown San Diego, California.


Georg said...

Hallo Smorky,

You do not give the name of the singer but the label mentions Kasarova : elementary, Dr. Watson?

Such a beautiful deep clear voice. I understand why you are a fan of her.


Smorg said...

Hallo Georg,
You're a Sherlock Holmes fan! :o) I love that series. Holmes and Agatha Christie's Miss Marple are two of my most favorite literature characters ever!

Anyhow, yup, that is Vesselina Kasarova indeed, from a 2008 concert. I don't know what is it with her dusky sound... it mesmerizes me to no end! ;o) I'm glad you enjoyed the clip.

Smorgy :o)